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Clinton praises Udall on NSA reform

Hillary Clinton praised Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a leading critic of the National Security Agency, for his work on intelligence reform during a campaign stop Tuesday.

Speaking at a rally for Udall, Clinton praised him for “leading the Senate in asking the hard questions about intelligence and the tradeoff between liberty and security.”

{mosads}”That was an important and challenging task that he took on,” she added.

Udall is facing a tough reelection fight against GOP challenger Rep. Cory Gardner (Colo.). That has civil libertarians worried about the political future of the senator who led the charge against the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records in the U.S.

Udall also was the first to call for CIA Director John Brennan to resign after he admitted that officials gained access to the files of Senate staffers. The staffers were drafting a report on the agency’s controversial interrogation techniques.

Clinton did not go into detail, but the comments shed some light into her views on intelligence matters, an area where she has mostly stayed silent. 

Clinton appeared to back some reforms in June, when she told Fox News: “We have to make some changes in order to secure that privacy, that constitutional right to privacy that Americans are due.”

She added, though, that’s it is a “really difficult balancing act.”

She has also been critical of leaker Edward Snowden, saying she found it “sort of odd” that he fled the U.S. to China and Russia. 

Most of Clinton’s speech on Tuesday though, was devoted to touting Udall’s positions on women’s rights issues, as well as congressional candidate Andrew Romanoff and Gov. John Hickenlooper. 

Clinton has been focusing on issues such as access to contraception, paid leave and equal pay in midterm campaign stops around the country, in hopes of rallying Democratic women to the polls in November.

“Women’s rights here at home and around the world are clearly at risk unless people of good will, both women and men, regardless of political ideology, understand that women’s rights are like the canaries in the mine,” she said. “If women’s rights are denied or rolled back anywhere, it is a threat to everyone’s rights everywhere.”

Udall has made access to contraception and Gardner’s past support for “personhood” measures that would outlaw birth control central to his campaign. 

Gardner has sought to counter that attack by supporting over-the-counter access to contraception, but Clinton hit back at the GOP lawmaker, though without naming him.

“These Democrats will never deny women health insurance for contraception and then tell them to just buy it over the counter without even wishing them good luck in paying the bill,” Clinton said.

Clinton, who is weighing a bid for the 2016 Democratic nomination, closed her speech by invoking the American dream.

“I want everyone in this room to be able to look at any baby, any child, and truthfully say, ‘You have the same right to the American dream that I did and the generations before me,’ ” she said.  

Tags 2014 Colorado Senate Race Colorado Cory Gardner Hillary Clinton Mark Udall NSA
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